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04.12.2017 14:48 Alter: 103 days

Racism and the Disciplinary Differentiation of Science and Philosophy

Call for Papers

Theme: Racism and the Disciplinary Differentiation of Science and Philosophy
Type: International Workshop
Institution: Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology
and Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at
Location: Richardson, TX (USA)
Date: 17.–20.5.2018
Deadline: 15.1.2018

A Workshop in Conjunction with the Values in Medicine, Science, and
Technology Conference May 17-20, 2018

This workshop seeks to weave together three historical threads that
have each separately received significant attention in recent years,
but which have not so far been followed together, perhaps due to the
siloing of different sub-disciplines of and approaches within the
history of ideas:

(1) the role of racism in the formation of the philosophical canon,
(2) the role of racism in the emergence of science as a distinct
   pursuit, especially the life and social sciences, and
(3) the disciplinary and professional differentiation of philosophy
   and science from one another from the 18th to the 20th centuries. 

We know from recent work in intellectual history that there are deep
connections between the development of racist thought and the
emergence of the modern concept and canons of philosophy, influenced
especially by Kant and certain of his followers. In this process,
Asian and African thinkers were read out of the canon, and philosophy
was reconceived as a specifically western intellectual formation
beginning in Ancient Greece. 

Recent work has also shown that Kant's work on race is also deeply
imbricated with the development of biology and race science /
scientific racism. We also know from various historians that the
emergence of science, especially biology, physical anthropology, and
psychology, is also deeply involved with the development of racist
thought in the 19th century into the early 20th. In fact, the process
starts earlier, with 18th-century changes in the field of natural
history as it starts the transition that results in the contemporary
biological and human sciences, and which is also tied up with the
emergence of the modern research university (Georg-August-Universität
Göttingen being a key nexus).

Taking place throughout the same period is the slow process of
differentiating science and philosophy, which in a way also begins
with Immanuel Kant, who is also central to the story of science &
race and philosophy & race. Kant's distinctions are one important
influence over the process of differentiating and separating of
institutions and professional identities, in the 19th century
Anglophone world represented in the diverging terms of "scientist"
from "natural philosopher" or "natural historian" or "moral
philosopher" (thanks to Whewell). This process culminated in the
early 20th century with the institutional extrication of philosophy
and psychology, and the influence of anti-psychologism in philosophy.
(This framing privileges the English language version of this
trajectory, but similar changes were going on throughout early modern
Europe.) In turn, the philosophy / psychology split and the
anti-psychologism movement in philosophy was central to the founding
figures of both analytic and continental philosophy, as well as the
split between the two (many of the main figures being in one way or
another neo-Kantians).

What happens when we read all of these processes together? How do
they impact/inform contemporary science, philosophy, and our
understand of the relation between the two (or lack thereof)? These
will be the questions explored in this workshop. Our aim is to start
a conversation that explores these tangled threads, with the ultimate
aim of weaving a narrative that illuminates the connections between
these so far separate inquiries. 

Proposals should include a 250-300 word abstract. Talks need not
attempt to cover the entire broad field laid out in this CFP, but
we're especially interested in talks that make new connections among
some of these threads.

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2018

Submit your proposals at:

Invited Speakers:
Demetrius Eudell (Wesleyan) 
Justin E.H. Smith (Université Paris Diderot)
Naomi Zack (University of Oregon)

Matthew J. Brown and Peter K.J. Park

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology works to
foster diversity and inclusiveness in our programming, events, and
outreach efforts. Proposal authors and panel organizers will be asked
to submit an optional 50-100 word diversity statement with their
submission. We will also publish a statement of Conference Aims,
Values, and Norms and designate an ombuds for the conference, who can
receive confidential reports of inappropriate behavior and work with
the organizers to determine appropriate responses.

This workshop take place prior to and in connection with the Values
in Medicine, Science, and Technology Conference. Workshop
participants are encouraged to stay for the conference. Submissions
to the workshop and the conference will be considered separately.
Please be sure you submit your proposal to the correct track.


Matthew J. Brown, PhD, Director
Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology
University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Rd.
Richardson, TX 75080
Email: mattbrown(at)